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Peace in the Midst of Chaos (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

by Julia Bruce
CEO, Author, and Conference Speaker

It’s a cray-cray world full of chaos

It seems to me that each day that goes by, the world gets a little crazier and a little crazier. We long for world peace, but it really shouldn’t be a surprise to any of us that our world is full of chaos since God warned us this would happen in 2 Timothy 3:1-5. Paul wrote to Timothy under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit: “But know this: Difficult times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of godliness but denying its power.

It’s a problem of complacency

I think this is a pretty accurate description of our world today — regardless of who is in the White House, Congress, House of Representatives, Supreme Court, or any other political office. While we know that Satan roams the earth bring destruction wherever he goes, I believe that Christians have — at least in part — a level of responsibility for the state we are in. We have been comfortably complacent within the walls of our churches and as long as the “way of the world” doesn’t upset the bubble we live in, we shake our heads and say, “Well, bless their hearts!”

We have not stood up for the cause of Christ like we should. How does Jesus feel about complacent Christians? Hear his words to the church in Laodicea found in Revelation 3:15-16: “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” And to the church at Ephesus, we find in Revelation 2:4 that Jesus said, “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.

Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:17-19, “Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.” When we become complacent, we become callous to what is going on in the world and we are in danger of joining the world in its sin.

As the Days of Noah…

It is both sad and scary to see the moral decline of this world. Yet this isn’t the first time the world has reached this point. In the days of Noah, the world was so full of sin that God destroyed the world with a flood. For 120 years Noah built and prepared the ark as God instructed, all while the people mocked him. In fact, Jesus said “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24:37-29).

Just as they did in Noah’s day, people today go on with their everyday lives ignoring the signs that God gave us in the Bible and they will continue to do so until it is too late.

Finding hope and peace

Even though our world is fulfilling the words of Paul, as a Christian we can find hope and peace…even in the midst of the chaos around us. Isaiah 46:10 tells us God is in control, from the very moment He created the world until it’s very last second of existence. “I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: My plan will take place, and I will do all My will.” Satan may have a grand time making the world run amuck, but God will see that His will wins in the end.

In Psalm 37:18, the Bible says, “The Lord watches over the blameless all their days, and their inheritance will last forever.” In John 14:27, Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world give do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Peace, as defined by the world is the “freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility, freedom from or the cessation of war or violence.” If that’s the definition of peace, then we can pretty much bet on never experiencing it in this life.

A different kind of peace

Jesus offers a different kind of peace, one that quiets our hearts no matter what the circumstances. It’s the peace in the midst of a storm that lets us know that God is with us and He will never leave us. This kind of peace is a gift from God and one aspect of who He is. In 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Paul writes, “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Since God is peace, we can experience the peace that Jesus spoke of only when we take time to quiet our hearts, bask in His presence, and draw close to Him. The more time we spend with Him, developing a relationship with Him, the more we know of His deep love for us and we are able to trust Him even in the midst of the chaos around us. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Peace is found in the perfect love of Jesus

As children of God, we do not need to cower in fear. 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” Perfect love is only found in Jesus. So if we are going to find peace, the opposite of fear, we need to continue to worship God, to seek His face, to humbly repent, and to pray for ourselves and our world.

My friends, Jesus gives peace and He is our only hope for peace. The Lord is our refuge and no matter what happens, we can run to the arms of God and draw on that peace, receive His strength, and trust Him even when it makes no sense to us. Psalm 91:1 says, “He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

Without a change in the current moral trajectory of this world, many more difficult days lie ahead. We, as Christians, should feel an overwhelming burden for the moral decay and the eagerness to stamp God out of the world He created. Our hearts should be broken for the lost and the sin that runs rampant around us. It should cause us to fall on our knees, weeping before our God with broken and repentant hearts. Will you join me in praying for a revival to sweep across our nation and our world…we desperately need it!

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